According to an internal document shared with Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers today, repairs of 38mm aluminum Apple Watch Series 2 models will be replaced with an equivalent Series 3 model until further notice. The new policy is due to a temporary shortage of Series 2 parts.
The document, first obtained by MacRumors, reminds technicians that Series 3 Watches require an iPhone compatible with watchOS 4 or later. iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c owners will need to resolve the incompatibility. If a customer is unable to accept the Series 3 model, they can contact Apple support to get a refund.
This isn’t the first time Apple has offered parts substitutions because of parts shortages, allowing some lucky customers to score an upgrade to a newer generation of the device at a lower price.
Apple Watch Series 2 owners who have devices in need of repair should go to the Apple support page and book an appointment at an Apple Store of and Apple Authorized Service Provider. You may not qualify for the replacement program, and who knows when the policy will change again, but if your Series 2 is in need of a repair, it’s worth a shot.